Late Night Opening

It’s been over a month since I last posted, and I’m not happy with these images. I think they show how flat and uninspired I am at the moment. There are all sorts of things that could be contributing to this, but generally, I believe I just have a spot of Photographers Block.

Maybe this blog has run it’s course in it’s current format. I have explored the idea of what is documentary photography, and I have had fun doing so. The conclusion I have come to though is that it doesn’t matter how you categorise an image, it is all simply photography. We have a need to group like things together, and I understand that, but just as certain types pf music can fall into multiple genres, so can photographs.

Does it even matter how we categorise an image? What is it that makes it fit into that particular style? And sometimes we over categorise. Take the phrase ‘Street Portrait’. A portrait taken in the street. When does it stop being a portrait, and become ‘street’? This is of course an open ended discussion because there is no right or wrong answer, just opinions.

And I think it’s the same with documentary. What is it? I know what I think it is, but that doesn’t make it so.

I am going to spend some time doing more colour work to see if I can get some inspiration. I’ll be working on a 365 project, and I will continue with my 100 strangers project too.

In the meantime, here is a set of lack lustre images taken at the Manchester Art Gallery during late night opening. Click on the image to see them all. If you think it might be worth it.

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I live about a mile and a half away from the nearest tram stop. It’s a long, straight road, with houses packing both sides. In fact it’s a pretty dull road all in all. And long. Walking it takes about 1/2 an hour. Did I mention that it’s straight? And Dull?

So following a successful Christmas shopping trip, I decided to walk home from that tram stop. The whole way, in the rain. To be fair, it wasn’t pouring down, but my coat wasn’t waterproof, I had no umbrella or hood. Of course I DID have my camera with me, so I set out to document my walk home. It was a little harder than I expected (mainly due the lack of anything but houses and pavement), but I think I did ok.

I tried hard to get the image I wanted in camera, and this time I feel like I got it bang on. So every image is straight out of camera, and the only thing Lightroom did, is organize and resize.

If you fancy a gander at the 9 chosen images, click the pic below. If you have something better/else to do that’s fine too.

Have a superb Christmas, and an awesome week.

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That time again…

The Christmas Markets have arrived in Manchester (Actually, they’ve been here over a week!) and as I was in town on Sunday, and had 40 minutes to spare so I thought I’d better take some pictures. It was a little easier than usual, as I was Wife free, so I could wander, and stop and take pictures as I pleased. It was also a good opportunity to get put a manual focus lens on, and get back to a slower way of shooting, waiting for the right opportunity, rather than trying to grab shots.I have to say I enjoy this style of picture taking. I feels a little more like ‘real’ photography. I also set myself the challenge of minimal post processing. It should all be done in Camera, if at all possible, and with one exception, I’m happy that I achieved my goal.

The markets are a great opportunity for some proper street photography, which is something I normally shy away from. My 100 Strangers project is starting to help me find it a little easier, and using the Fuji X-T1 I’m also really quite invisible, so unusually for me this time, there are people in my pictures. Not many I’ll admit, but I’m getting braver :-).

I don’t think there is any doubt as to whether these are documentary or not. For me, they fall very squarely in that camp. They tell a story of the Christmas Markets, and (some of) the people visiting them. Click on the image below, and see the full gallery if you fancy. No hard feelings if you don’t…

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Photographers Block…

I am currently suffering from a significant lack of inspiration. Largely brought about by a lack of time, and energy. It’s been a bit manic here the last couple of weeks, and whilst I have some very nice pictures of my Mum’s dogs, they aren’t really for here. I have also started my 100 strangers project, so watch this space….

Meanwhile, here are some pics I’ve been keeping back for just such an emergency. Taken in June, while the weather was still warm all day, and part of my Waterways project.

Hopefully by next weekend I’ll have some inspiration again. Click on the image below, blah blah blah.

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Subjectivity

Whilst supporting Wife, who was on a training course, I took the opportunity to have a wander around Manchester and take some pictures of the old buildings. Some of the architecture is marvelously gothic, especially the town hall, which is incredible. Architectural photography is not something I’ve really paid much attention to in the past, but the juxtaposition of the new glass buildings and the old stone ones is pretty awesome. I may have to do some more.

I’ve chosen not to correct any of the verticals, in the hope that it helps to add a sense of drama.

Making this blog has (I think) taught me enough to understand what is documentary photography, and this isn’t. If it was a series of images, showing the changing face of the city over time, then maybe. If it was a document of all (or lots) of the old buildings, then again maybe. In fact if some of the compositions were different, and focused more on the buildings themselves than the compositions it may even be documentary.
I’ve also learnt enough to know that it doesn’t matter. It’s photography at the end of the day, and any further catagorisation is purely subjective.
So this goes in the playground for now. And if I decide to, I’ll recategorise it.

As always, the full gallery can be found by clicking the image below.

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GAS and Canals

Canals and waterways are a long term project of mine, so you will probably see more posts with Canals in them as time goes on. Usually when I go out specifically to make some pictures, I use manual focus. This time though, was different. I have shiny new Fujifilm X-T1 and I have to decide if I like it enough to keep it and sell the X-Pro1.  So I put the XF-56 on the new camera, and set off for 40 minutes of picture taking, while waiting for Wife to finish work.

So the images are all SOOC as I’ve had a busy weekend. Too busy to mess with the RAW files, which are much better than the jpegs. I also didn’t have the camera set up the way I like it, so if I was to set out to take the same pictures tomorrow, they’d turn out differently.

I doubt any of them are good enough to make it into the project, so I can’t label them that, and frankly the only thing they document of my over enthusiasm to start using my new toy. I’m looking forward to finding some time for a slower, manual focus outing, but for now these will have to do.

Thanks for reading, and click on the image below for the full gallery.

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